CEN BII Approach

The focus of BII is to collect European business requirements and provide guidance for consistent implementation of these requirements using existing international standards (where available), i.e. UN/CEFACT and Oasis UBL. The actual implementation of the standards in IT systems is left with the user communities.

The fundamental assumption in this approach is that in order to achieve interoperability, several organizations and initiatives need to work together, sharing requirements and experience in implementation.

Within BII, it is recognised that the required information content of each business transaction will depend on the business scenario for which it is applied. For example, in an advanced warehousing scenario there may be a need to provide very specific information elements related to the handling and storage of goods not generally required by all businesses.

Consequently, a minimum set of commonly used information elements has to be defined for each business transaction, so that it is common and understandable in all business scenarios. The BII Information Requirement Models are aimed at defining the core information set applicable at European level. An Information Requirement Model in BII can bee seen as a synonym to a semantic data model.

The normative deliverable from BII – the Profiles and Information Requirement Models – are targeted at achieving organizational and semantic interoperability, and are thus syntax and technology neutral.

In order to facilitate practical implementation, user communities (such as PEPPOL) have to select the actual syntax they want to use within their own community when implementing the BII Information Requirement Model. As part of this syntax selection, they are also allowed to and, actually, expected to review the information contents and business rules defined by BII. Through this process the user communities will create customizations further restricting or extending the rules and contents defined by BII.

Although the deliverables provided by BII are expected to be ready for implementation as-is, the focus on defining the core information set also implies a recognition that further customization maybe required by user groups or individual users. In reality customisations are expected to happen at several layers.

While the profile description from BII is designed to meet generally expressed requirements, it is still the responsibility of the users to ensure that the business transactions meet all the legal, fiscal and commercial requirements relevant to their business.

The relationship between a PEPPOL BIS (Business Interoperability Specifications) and EHF, the Norwegian format for e-invoicing to the public sector, is an example of this.


Organisation/community Context of use  
BII Pan-European electronic   procurement transactions Defined by BII Profiles
OpenPEPPOL Cross border public procurement transactions within Europe Achieved by defining PEPPOL BIS as a customisation of BII   profile
Difi Domestic procurement transactions   within Norway Achieved by defining EHF as a   customisation of PEPPOL BIS